Instagram vs Reality

Instagram is a tricky beast. I love sharing photos and I love looking at photos, whether they’re of people, places or things, but I am also abundantly aware of how fake the platform is.

There are some incredibly creative people in this world, people who quite literally share their talents with the world thanks to Instagram. But, for the most part, the platform seems to be a beauty worshiping pit of vanity. So I have always been hesitant to share photos for fear of feeding the beast.

A few days ago I stumbled about an YouTube video made by someone from Vancouver who spent nearly 45 minutes going through her perfectly curated Instagram feed to talk the truth behind the beautiful photos and catchy captions she’d been posting for years.

With 2.1 million Instagram followers, hearing the truth behind her photos was actually quite shocking. As much as you know people aren’t truthful with their Instagram accounts, you tend to just envision people’s lives as perfect because… well because that’s what they want you to think. But her life, well it’s far from perfect. I was quite shocked about how far from perfect it was. But I found myself respecting her so much more after knowing the actual truth behind her photos.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing some photos on Instagram and, in the comments, sharing two captions. Firstly, I’ll share the caption I would write if I were trying to make my life look perfect, and secondly I’ll share the reality of what was going on at that point in my life when I took the photo.

And, if anyone else wants to include this ‘Instagram vs Reality’ captions on their photos too, let me know and I’ll follow your Instagram.

Honestly, while I think my life is far from interesting, by any means, I do live in Canada and this entire country is basically the equivalent of a ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard. So, I do have some pretty beautiful photos. But, as with all things in life, there’s two sides to every story…. Instagram versus Reality.

79 thoughts on “Instagram vs Reality

  1. I like it but I only have a small feed and following, and it seems to me that the people I’m interested in are not interested in faking it. They are candid shots that (usually) tell a story. That’s what I like. Almost like a supplement to the blog, if there is a blog. (Not everyone I follow on Insta has a blog.)

    But I’m well aware of the fake social media out there. One of the reasons I never joined Pinterest. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I used to only follow a small group of people, but I started branching out as I made more friends on this blog and lately I’ve been finding myself thinking ‘Your life can’t be this nice’. Not that there’s anything wrong with what they post, I just don’t think it’s the whole story.

      I love candid shots. Just not my own. hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally get it. I feel that way sometimes too. But I love it too much to turn away. It’s an easy way to keep up with my nieces and nephews, my friends across the world. It just keeps sucking me in!

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  2. I could definitely say something about the picture I posted of the cleaning drawer idea! You see a basket of cleaning supplies with a nice woven water hyacinth basket and hey, doesn’t it look great? You can’t see all of the junk piled up on the floor at my feet because the camera is focused away from it and I’ve still been too busy to sort it! Don’t believe everything you see 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 80 percent of what we believe is thru what we see. A picture tells a thousand words.

    It’s easy to lie, suggest one, or believe in one, via a tiny moment of time cleverly edited and selected for its aesthetic appeal.
    Interpreting what we see in such an image will come down to our experiences, desires, shortcomings, fears and wishes. We’ll look for a happy ending even when there isn’t enough context for it.
    Instagram is a nasty place for those who are easily led into false worlds. A blind person would have the best interpretation of the Instagram feed.😉
    -Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, a picture tells a thousand words! And I can’t blame people for wanting to look for a happy ending where there isn’t context. I think that’s human nature. That being said, I’m all for transparency.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t been on IG in a few months. Idk why (well, deep down I do) I recently lost interest in it. The only thing I actually enjoyed doing on IG were uploading IG stories, until I saw some triggering stuff which really messed with my emotions. The most recent photo I posted on IG besides the profile picture (it’s filtered) were photos from 2017. I would be curious to see photos of your world, but I’m more likely to see them on this blog. 😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m horrible with posting photos to this blog. For the most part i just want to dump out my thoughts, I don’t bother trying to find a photo that adds to the context. haha.

      And I remember not looking at the dates on your Instagram before I met you and thinking your daughter was still a baby and you were like ‘No, no those were from two years ago!’ And I was like ‘Damn! I dropped the ball there.’

      Have you been better since you’ve been avoiding instagram? It sucks when you find things triggering for you. I’ve definitely been there before. It’s 10% of why I don’t have a facebook account and haven’t for ten years.

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  5. Great reflection! I use Instagram like a connection to my blog and Facebook as well. I post my travel photos because that’s my passion, but I did find myself obsessing on only posting perfect pictures because I wanted my feed to be as great as “real” travel bloggers. Then I started really thinking about it, my pictures are a true reflection of where I am in the moment, and forget perfection, I’m posting what brings me joy, and hopefully it will encourage others to visit those spots as well. So I love that idea, I’ll follow and enjoy, I love Canada!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Lol. What’s your IG, I’m interested to see the Instagram vs Reality posts. Use wherever you are in Canada that you love as a start. I love finding local spots that aren’t considered “touristy” or anywhere I really love.

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  6. I think I live in a different reality :). I have a small number of people I follow, and I know the wast majority of them in reality. And I use Instagram exactly for the purpose of showing real life when I do not have time to write – to let my friends know what’s going on in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a couple of close friends who use instagram in the manner of which you speak, which is also the manner in which I’ve noticed you use Instagram and I really like it. When you post these pictures of the Christmas markets, I feel like that’s probably where you were then, or several hours prior and it’s like an update of life.

      I also have friends who are in horrible places personally, who I’ve noticed are using their instagram accounts to put up a facade and pretend it’s not happening. And as much as I love seeing pictures of their cute kids, I know it’s not the reality she has, ya know? Her making her kids fake a picture for a minute in a day when their dad shows up, doesn’t make up for what’s happening behind the scenes. I have a lot of friends who do that… sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is indeed sad. I have a friend, who is fighting a cancer for several years know, she posts beautiful pictures of herself in a new wig, or the places she visited during remission, or just post a picture of a hospital and describes procedures. I think it’s a beautiful way to be both true and positive

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    1. Yeah that pisses me off! That pisses me off so much. Because people are just… articially manufacturing places to get people to come to them. Like those fucking walls in Los Angeles that everyone needs to go get a picture with. Those businesses next to the pink wall? Laughing all the way to the bank.

      I will never go to somewhere that is labelled an Instagram hotspot for photos. That just seems like a giant waste of time!

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      1. There’s a residential street in Paris where asshole instagrammers literally do wardrobe changes on people’s front doorsteps and do photoshoots en masse. And once one person puts it on their feed/blog then the rest of the lemmings need to follow suit. It’s so disruptive to the residents that they’ve reached out to the local authorities for assistance.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I live in an area of Vancouver that is bonkers most of the year, but at least I don’t have to deal with THAT. I feel for the residents. Imagine trying to get to your door trying to side step some asshole doing fishlips into their phone literally on your door stop. I mean, come on!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. So true! It’s so easy to feel like ‘Why don’t I have that’ when people are only posting a perfectly curated depiction of what they wish their life was, what it likely is far from in reality.

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    1. Thanks Ana! I love editing photos and I have no problem with editing photos. After all, it was part of what I did as a job for a long time! I just hope that people are realistic about the editing. Like… when the Kardashians cinch in their waists four inches in photos and then try to pretend that their body is naturally that way, though the edges behind them are curved from the editing, I think that’s influencing an alternate reality that’s just not plausible you know what I mean?

      I love brightening and lightening, sharpening and smoothing. Getting rid of zits? Heck yes. But, I’m not a fan of when people literally alter themselves to when they don’t look like themselves. Hopefully in your edited photos, you still look like your beautiful self ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yer, absolutely. I understand you completely and agree. That is a complete fake sense of reality. Is not what it is, but my colleagues issue was more related to only posting pics from when we go on holidays/having fun and happy times. I quote “you can’t be always on a high and you are not always on holidays” hahahaha. But in my defense I have been on those holidays and I can post the pics or put a cute filter to whatever da heck I want hahahah 😀

        Check out on my blog and let me know what you think: http://www.adreamersland.com 🙂 ❤

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  7. I think part of the reason I don’t “connect” much with IG is because It lacks authenticity for me. When I see all these glamour pictures that I am kind of sure are a put on show of sorts, it just doesn’t feel interesting. I love your idea, will be interesting to follow for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it would be really cool for more people to do, if they’re interested. I’d love to hear more of the reality behind photos. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, we should likely be truthful about what those words are! You’re so right though. A lot (not all) of Instagram lacks authenticity. There’s a few people I’ve found through this blog though who I really appreciate.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love Instagram and any platform where I can share photos, but reading all these “embellished” posts on my feed sucks the joy in sharing. I think I will always prefer blogging to social media because blogging takes me back to a better time where people didn’t always show their world in a filtered lens. I wonder if it is because few people blogged until one day there were too many, and their problems (i.e. insecurities) are reframed as aspirational in a social media post. I remembered I had a coworker who seemed to have a nice life on her Facebook profile, who then revealed to me a lot of these realities behind her photos. It sounded incredibly sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is sad. I have a friend who’s going through a really horrendous divorce right now and she’s not telling her family. Her (soon to be) ex husband has been arrested for physical violence, and she’s quite literally having him come over to do photoshoots with their kids so they all look happy together and like the perfect family.

      Unless people are transparent, much like your revelations about your coworker, it’s possible that we never really find out the truth at all!

      You’re so right about blogging. It’s about a lot simpler of times! It’s a lot less filtered and a lot more real.

      Like

    1. I dont think itll garner anymore followers because of my choice of captions. I’m not really doing it for that though. I just want to be more realistic about things. Also, I hope others start doing the same!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As if getting the perfect selfie wasnt bad enough now photos of our surroundings need to seem perfect to, photo shopping out dust bunnies or angle the camera perfectly to avoid the pile of laundry neighboring the new shoes your photographing lol. I have an IG same as my blog name. This sounds interesting

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh speaking of photographing new shoes, I have a friend who got new sneakers last week – she took over 100 photos of her feet wearing the sneakers before she found one ‘she liked enough’ to post on Instagram… I was like… ‘wut? You’re wasting your life trying to take photos of your feet.’

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      1. Haha I take a few shots and crop and am.guilty of brushing the odd photo but nope Im not going to waste my time like that lol. Most IG photos are done on the fly, those passed through my blog I do polish up slightly but not always.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such an interesting topic. I do think it’s possible to avoid these sorts of accounts on instagram and get a lot of enjoyment from the platform. I follow loads of people, but not the sort of people who put out these polished posts. This is a really interesting article on how people are rejecting that sort of aesthetic on there now https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/influencers-are-abandoning-instagram-look/587803/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would definitely like to use your “Instagram vs Reality” if that’s ok with you. I actually archived all my old phots and converted it to be specifically about my blog and I have not posted since then but I think that your idea is very genuine and can be used in an honest way. (@ricky_talks_ is my instagram.)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi. I do agree with you completely. A friend of mine encouraged me to create an account on Inst. because these are great pictures. The first thought, but how many are the owners of these photos? and how many are stolen from others? I agree with you – Inst vice reality. For several days I have my Inst and I have already noticed it, I add only my photos as you mentioned of yours, and the things that happened to me and only to me, that is way I call this my account. With Regards. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a lot of people who’s Instagram accounts are just pictures they ‘borrow’ from others. I definitely think that in the age of social media people don’t take copyright as seriously as they should. I much appreciate people who are more genuine. Beautiful photos are wonderful but sharing and showing the flaws is important. When an instagram is too curated, I begin to wonder just how it became so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nah! Don’t delete Instagram. You know that quote people always say ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’? Be the change you want to see on Instagram. Also, am I following you on Instagram? Because if I’m not tell me your username.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Impressed by your blog🤩
    People don’t usually think that they are living two lives; one that is real and the other is on social media.
    I also wrote about it in my latest blog, so lemme know your thoughts on that.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I know exactly what video you’re referring to here. I loved watching it. Sam is easily one of my favourite “influencers” to watch. I think it’s such an important message to get across. I love the steps you’re taking to include 2 captions! The IG vs Reality… that’s such a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate her honesty and transparency. It’s so nice to watch her and feel like… that’s her. Like she’s not putting on a ‘HI GUYS I’M ALWAYS HAPPY AND EVERYTHING IS WESOME!’ facade for a follower count.

      Like

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